I had some holidays to use up, and already had the Monday off for our annual pilgrimage to Brighton for the Veteran Car run si u tagged a say either side to make a long weekend. The plan was Uxbridge to Hatch End about 13 miles so on the long side, but it’s in North London so very accessible for me.
I was up eatlyish and headed by car to Hatch End station where to my surprise the small car park had plenty of spaces, the fee was £4.50 for the day. It turns out a bus to Rayner’s lane was the best but it is always good to leave the car at a transport hub if there is a need to bail out. There was talk of rain, so it was a distinct possibility, and it had rained all the way to the station.
I got the H12 bus opposite the station, it made slow progress as the traffic was heavy compared weekends, and just after rush hour to boot.
I was distracted by this post when I looked up and saw we had stopped at Rayner’s lane but is was too late to get off the bus so I alighted at the next step. It turned out the sign had said towards Rayner’s Lane si I had to wait for another bus before eventually alighting at my intended destination.
Rayner’s Lane has an interesting selection of shops, some clearly long established businesses, other more recent a few Asian supermarkets a couple of Polish grocers. I found the art deco tube station at the top of the high street, and waited for the Metropolitan train to Uxbridge.
I got on the bus to Rayners lane but got off at the wrong stop so had to wait again for the next bus, interstingly Oyster only charges me for a single journey. Rayner’s lane shops is interesting traditonal shops along side shops clearly opend by immigrants, it would be a great place to do your weekly shopping. Next leg would be on the underground.
I eventually reached Uxbridge at 11:05 and headed straight to the shopping centre for a pee, then headed out to find the canal tow path I had used the week before. After a while it started to rain. The path follows the canal and us pretty uninspiring especially in the rain. Eventually I shelteres under a bridge, and on consulting the map noticed it was about 1km to pub, so I pushed on.
The Bear on the Barge cheese sandwich and refuge from the rain that had become quite heavy. Tempted to grab one of the umbrella in the coat stand that appear to have no owner. The song “These boots are made walkin” which seemed to be nagging me to get back on the LOOP path.
I did a few more miles but the rain for harder. Sheltering under a canal bridge near Hatfield Hospital I decided that it was not fun any more and th e rain was showing no signs of stopping, so decided to bail out. It was however about a mike to the nearest bus stop and with no trees to lessen the rain. I had a 10 minute wait.
The journey back involved two bus journeys and a tube. First a bus to Northwood station, followed by tube to Pinner and finally a bus to Hatch End